The mining and construction business can be a busy and dangerous one. The last thing you need is your construction equipment failing or not being adequate enough to do the job. There’s not much you can do without construction equipment on a jobsite. And the need for a dump truck – especially in the initial phases of construction (or every phase of mining) – is unavoidable.
So, what is it that you need your dump truck to have? What are the considerations you should take before making a dump truck purchase?
Types of dump trucks
Well, firstly, you need to be clued up on a few of the different types of dump trucks available to you. This way you’ll ensure that you invest in the correct dump truck for the job at hand.
- Standard dump trucks: These are the most common types of dump trucks that work with a hydraulic system that lifts the dumping container in order to empty it. It is fixed to the truck and manufactured in various sizes with complementary configurations for easy operation.
- Transfer dump trucks: These dump trucks have trailer dumping containers that are connected to a standard dump truck or any other truck. Because the containers are movable and detachable, transfer dump trucks are handy pieces of equipment to have in order to cart cargo to the construction project. They are, obviously, able to carry more loads than a single dump truck but are easiest to operate on flat roads.
- Articulated dump trucks: These dump trucks are also known as off-road dump trucks. They are mostly used at mining and quarry sites because of their ability to effortlessly manoeuvre over rough, uneven and, well, off-road terrain. They have extremely large load capacities, The Terex articulated dump truck, for example, can carry a load of about 38 000 kg. These are your proper heavy-duty trucks for the tough and immense loads of mining debris that need to be removed and transported elsewhere.
- Side dump trucks: The above-mentioned trucks all work with a vertical hydraulics system to lift the one end of the container up and empty the load from top to bottom. Side dump truck containers, however, lift to the side and are, for that reason, faster to unload. Side dump trucks have a large capacity, are quick and easy to unload and are becoming increasingly popular in the construction and mining industry.
Capacity suited to use
Now that you know the types of dump trucks out there, here’s what you need to base your decisions of “which one to buy” on. Depending on the nature of the jobsite and the extent of the project, you’ll need to make sure that the dump truck you buy has a sufficient loading capacity.
The greater the capacity, the fewer trips will need to be done and the quicker the project can be completed. But, if it’s not necessary to have such a large dump truck, don’t opt for something too big if it’s going to end up costing more just to operate. You also need to keep in mind that most dump trucks with a large capacity are restricted to certain areas because of its weight and the probable risks that accompany that weight.
You should know the type of jobsite where you work on a regular basis. Certain dump trucks will be better suited for those sites than others in terms of manoeuvrability. Transfer dump trucks are going to have a hard time reversing and moving around a construction site, whereas standard dump trucks aren’t that difficult to operate in quarters with less space.
And if you work on uneven terrain or an unstable environment, then an articulated or off-road dump truck will be your best option. They are also able to do long-hauls but aren’t the best for on-the-road trips because of their weight. As for side dump trucks, their movement ability is also quite restricted and are best used on large, open jobsites.
Your dump truck needs to be able to get where the unwanted material is and to move it someplace else. It won’t be able to do that if there isn’t enough space or it isn’t designed for that type of area. And while you’re looking at manoeuvrability according to the environment, you’ll need to find the right engine for the environment too. Otherwise, you’ll be unnecessarily wasting money when operating the dump truck.
The last thing you need your dump truck to have, or rather what your dump truck driver needs it to have, is a comfortable interior. You always need to think of the wellbeing of your equipment operators and never underestimate the effort behind handling heavy machinery. Find comfort where you can and along with the rest of these properties, you’ll have the best dump truck for the job.